Day 255: God is Good

Jeremiah 49:1-39 The prophecies against other nations continued with the condemnations of the Ammonites, the Edomites, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and Elam. Since these nations stretched nearly across the known world at that time, their conquest was a powerful sign of God’s sovereignty over all creation.

Ch 50:1-46 Babylon was used by the Lord to exact his punishment upon Judah, but their siege went too far with the destruction of the Temple. Babylon itself was also called to conversion but failed to respond; the Babylonians would be attacked and eventually destroyed for its own sins. The Lord likened Babylon to a hammer that metes out destruction with abandon. 

Lamentations 3:1-20 The author of the third poem shared his personal suffering at Jerusalem’s fall, sounding very much like some of the lamentations found in the Book of Psalms.

Ch 3:6 Dwell in darkness: Origen said this “darkness of the soul” is the consequence of the overwhelming amount of temptation (Selecta in Threnos, 3, 6). The Council of Trent referred to the state of the soul affected by Original Sin as a certain death of the soul (cf. Jas 5:20). Both terms aptly describe the despair and gloom that characterizes the effects of sin. (CCC 403)

Ch 3:18 Gone is my glory...the Lord: this verse anticipates the serious punishment due to habitual infidelity to the covenant with the expectation of mercy and forgiveness.

Ch 3:19-20 Remember...within me: The sacred writer wants to remain ever mindful of his present suffering so he would not allow himself to fall into sin and its consequences again. (CCC 405, 1521)

Ch 3:21-66 These verses recall the steadfast love of the Lord. He is a God of benevolence and justice who will show compassion to Jerusalem and defeat their conquerors in due time. (CCC 214, 220, 2577)

Ch 3:44 You have wrapped...pass through: These words may refer to spiritual dryness, which is a sense of distance from God within the realm of personal prayer. St. John of the Cross called this the “dark night of the soul,” consisting of a period of spiritual aridity, anguish, and loneliness. “If at times the soul asks and prays, he asks and prays with so little strength and faith that he feels that God neither listens to him nor takes any notice of him” (Dark Night of the Soul, 2, 8, 1). (CCC 2710, 2728, 2731, 2754)

Proverbs 18:5 All dishonesty and deception is forbidden by the Eighth Commandment, but a lie takes on a particular gravity when spoken under oath in a court of law. False witness and perjury are not only an insult to God but also could lead to serious harm imparted on an innocent person or a failure in the just punishment of a guilty party. (CCC 2476)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you so much. Gosh, Lord God...hmmm….we’ve been thanking you for the last couple of days, Lord. Thank you for your justice. Thank you for your judgment, because your judgment is just, your judgment is fair, your judgment is true. And Lord God, even in the midst of the pain of your judgment we also ask that you please also give us mercy. We know that your mercy costs something. Your ability to give us your mercy, your ability to forgive us comes at the cost of the Life and Death and Resurrection of your Son, Jesus. That your forgiving us came at a price and that price you were willing to pay for us. And so Lord God of justice, we thank you for your justice. We thank you for your judgment and we ask for your mercy. We need it. Because without the mercy that comes to us from your Son from the Cross, Lord God we’d be lost. In fairness, in justice, we’d be lost. So please, in your mercy meet us with your love and your Grace this day and every day especially in the moments we need you and need it the most. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”